• hatchback Year of the Dragon (CD, £10.50)

    label: lo recordings

    After a seven-year hiatus, Sam Grawe AKA Hatchback gracefully returns with his third album for Lo Recordings. As the third entry in his fictitious California Cosmic Sound Series (following ‘Colors of the Sun’ and ‘Zeus & Apollo’), ‘Year of the Dragon’ continues Grawe’s personal exploration of the vast horizons of electronica, prog-rock, Balearic rhythms and New Age atmospheres. Hatchback emerged from a youth spent on planes with Walkman in hand, a deep love for synthesisers developed at an early age, no record bin left un-flipped-through, and over a decade marinating in heady Northern California. It is music that is as unassuming as it is cosmic, and as contemporary as it is timeless. ‘Year of The Dragon’ offers four long-playing tracks (6 including the 2 CD exclusive tracks), and listeners will be comforted by the classic analogue sounds of Hatchback taken to both new heights and new depths. They will be thrown straight into the passenger seat; set adrift through misty hillsides and sun-soaked seascapes. The opening track ‘Evening Mountain’ sets the scene of a cool haze settling deeply into a lush hillside as night descends; glittering melodic arps weave in and out between thick pads as a murky saxophone coaxes the off-kilter drums into formation. A progressive crescendo of electronics gives way to the slide guitar of Scott Hirsch (Hiss Golden Messenger, Echo Magic). Inspired by an underground headphone trip through Tokyo, ‘Onarimon’ offers a levitating ambience akin to masters Eno and Budd. Gradual and delicate pads, bright melodies, and shimmering guitar pyrotechnics from Kensuke Saito (9dw) reflect the glimmering neon of the distant megacity above. ‘Humidity Report 1976,’ created with Dan Judd (Sorcerer, Windsurf), picks up the pace and encompasses the richness of Hatchback’s vision. Dreamy harmonies, synth melodies seemingly pulled from a 70’s French soundtrack, pulsing bass, and heavy swung drums come together to ignite a steaming cauldron of sound. The album concludes with the epic title track. ‘Year of the Dragon’ steers the journey through a steadily evolving landscape, the likes of which Hatchback has never taken us to before—starting somewhere within the new age bin and ending in a fury of drums and distortion. ‘Year of The Dragon’ ushers in the next phase of the Hatchback story - a story with more chapters to come. TRACKLISTING: 1. Haiphong Boogie 2. Creamwave Dreamcave 3. Evening Mountain 4. Onarimon 5. Humidity Reporty 1976 6. Year of the Dragon

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